'Darren Moore has changed everything at Sheffield Wednesday' - the opposition view ahead of Doncaster Rovers' trip to Hillsborough

A South Yorkshire derby and a reunion with a manager who unceremoniously jumped ship in the middle of the promotion race - it is fair to say there is a little bit of spice around Doncaster Rovers’ trip to Sheffield Wednesday this weekend.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 12:00 pm
Darren Moore

The Owls have started the season with a pair of goalless draws as Darren Moore looks to gel a dozen new signings after a busy summer.

We spoke to The Star’s Owls writer Joe Crann to get the lowdown on the opposition.

Q: How have Wednesday looked in their first two games?

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JC: “They feel very organised.

“In the two games they’ve played they haven’t had many shots on target but they haven’t really looked like conceding either and that’s the main thing - if you don’t concede you don’t lose.

“Wednesday were very leaky last season and even when they scored you were never completely confident they would get a result out of a game.

“It’s still early doors but the first two appearances with this new team, they feel like a side that right now are going to be difficult to break down.

Q: What has been the issue in the final third?

JC: “A lot of it is combination play. There’s been so many new players coming in and you can see that a little bit of the timing is still off.

“Whether runs are too early or too late or the passes are, you can see the combinations need some work and some time.

“I think once things do click, it will quickly fall into place.

“From a Wednesday perspective, it’s very early doors and it’s about giving the partnerships the time to flourish.”

Q: Where are expectations for the club at the moment?

JC: “It’s football. At the end of last season a lot of the fans were saying we’ll struggling in League One.

“The signings have come in and the likes of Josh Windass have signed a new deal and the talk is about promotion again.

“I think if they were to finish around the play-offs and be competitive, with everything that has happened at the club over the last 18 months and with League One being so strong, that would be a good season.

“But the players themselves are all talking about gunning for promotion.”

Q: What system does Darren Moore favour now?

JC: “He’s been playing a 4-3-3 in the two games. A flat back four with Dennis Adeniran, Barry Bannan and Lewis Wing as the midfield three who tend to rotate.

“You have two wide players in the front three. Callum Paterson has led the line but he won’t be available so it’ll be interesting to see if Lee Gregory comes in for his first appearance.”

Q: How big a factor has Moore been in stabilising the club since his arrival?

JC: “I don’t even think the word huge does it a service. It feels like he has changed everything.

“He’s a draw card when it comes to signing players, he’s a draw when it comes to retaining players.

“The players speak so highly of the detail he goes into in training sessions.

“I don’t see how Wednesday put a squad like this together for League One without Darren Moore there.”

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.